The storm that hit Costa Tropical in the Granada district of Spain, at the weekend with winds of up to 80 kilometers per hour, significantly affected the production of avocados in the region. According to the agricultural organization COAG, the weather could have damaged about half of the Hass avocado crop.
«Wind has affected the production, which was already expected to be small this year», stated Juan Camacho, a member of the Tropicales de COAG organization. «The damage is not estimated yet, but we believe that up to 50% of the production of this subtropical culture could have been damaged». Experts estimate that 25,000 tons of avocados will be produced by Malaga and the coast of Granada this season, a significant decrease from the 60,000 tons produced last year.
Camacho stated that as long as the prices of avocados were stable and the fruit was being sold at 2.40 euros per kilogram. «The product, which we could not collect due to the storm wind, will be used for production of guacamole and cost much less», he explains.
There are approximately 7000 hectares of subtropical land in Granada, of which 4500 hectares are in Almunecar. Last year, the region lost 15% of its custard apple production because of weather conditions, and in 2018 storms caused losses of up to €1,2 million.
The day before the wind uprooted some of the custard apples in the Rio Verde Valley, but the fruit trees that fell to the ground did not represent a great loss for the growers. The custard apples that are being picked are very small. They’re not ripe as expected this year, but sales are still active. However, since this batch is smaller, the average value has changed from 1.20 euro to 60 cents, which is really tangible for farmers», stated producer Antonio Aragon. The head of Frutas Los Cursos, a subtropical fruit marketer Antonio Rodríguez, confirmed that the custard apples had not been damaged, and that the losses were small this year.